GUNNEDAH and Armidale grade competitions resume a week earlier than normal today – a decision that could go a long way to their respective War Veterans Cup teams making the February 17 Final.
In Gunnedah there is a full round of One Day matches while Armidale has programmed a month of Twenty20 games to kick start its New Year.
It’s something new for Armidale which elected to play only One Day games in its main premiership this season.
Armidale City skipper Andrew Brownlie thinks it might be good.
“We’ll see how it goes,” he said this week.
“Some teams will play two T20 games each week, just depends on the draw and who has byes. I’ve played a couple of T20 games in a day before too at the Uni Games.
“It’s only 80 overs in a day still.
“We (Arm City) have a bye the first week too and play just the one game.”‘
The top two T20 teams play off in the January 26 T20 Final.
He’s also hoping the T20 games are good hit outs for Armidale’s War Veterans Cup side.
It plays Tamworth at Tamworth’s No1 Oval tomorrow in a top of the table WVC clash.
“Tamworth are going to be very strong even without Grothy (NSWC wicketkeeper in Bundaberg).
“And will be hungry after losing to Gunnedah in the last round. We’ll be looking to put a bit of pressure on them and will want to be pretty intense in the field.”
Armidale’s fielding and bowling was good in Cowra when it won its Country Shield semi final against Nowra but lost its Final to Albury Wodonga Colts.
The batting let Armidale down.
“We need to build partnerships and for someone in the top order to get a score,” he said.
In Gunnedah the local grade competition resumes with Kookaburras playing Court House and Mornington tackling Albion.
Albion lead the first grade competition with 83.46 points but only just. Court House is just over a point back (82.47) with Kookaburras third (57.28) and Mornington (38.83) in dire trouble to make the playoffs.
It was a good pre-Christmas for Albion as it also leads the second grade and club championship competitions. Albion also leads the first grade McDonagh Cup table and the second grade Resch’s Cup standings.
Playing a full round before the first War Veterans Cup is something new for Gunnedah too and can only help, reckons Troy Sands.
“We get a game in to give the War Vets Cup players a good hit out before Sunday’s game against Narrabri,” he said.
FIRST GRADE: Albion 83.46, Court House 82.47, Kookaburras 57.28, Mornington 38.83. SECOND GRADE: Albion 52.12, Kookaburra Gold 44.74, Kookaburra Green 42.77, Mornington 33.82, Court House 27.65. CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP: Albion 335.22, Court House 294.52, Kookaburras 257.48, Mornington 180.79. MCDONAGH CUP: Albion31, Court House 26, Kookaburras 16, Mornington 11. RESCH’S CUP: Albion 19 (1.73 NRR), Kookaburras 19 (1.25 NRR), Court House 14, Mornington 8.